PICTURE OF THE DAY: Bond’s babies

FROM EDINBURGH WITH LOVE: Sir Sean Connery took time out of his whirlwind schedule to pose for photos with babies Oliver Curnow and Robert Hutchinson. They were born in the same Fountainbridge neighbourhood as the 007 hero, who was happy to meet their mums Miriam Leighton and Fiona Hutchinson.

Picture by Katielee Arrowsmith

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Schoolkids rub shoulders with stars

By Cara Sulieman

YOUNG filmmakers will be rubbing shoulders with the stars this week as their creations hit the film festival.

Schools across Edinburgh were asked to submit their drama, documentary and animation films to a competition that plays a staring role in the line up of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Over 140 films were handed in by 38 institutions, including primary, secondary, nursery and special needs schools.

Forty of the best entries are being screened on Thursday and Friday night following the gala opening of the festival tonight.

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Nick Hornby Joins Edinburgh International Film Festival

By Shaun Milne

BEST selling author Nick Hornby has been added to the line up for this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Hornby, who was behind novels later turned into movies including Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About A Boy, is also an Academy Award nominated screenwriter for his adaptation of Lynn Barber’s memoir, An Education.

He will be interviewed on stage on Thursday, June 17, at Cineworld in Edinburgh, as part of the festival’s ‘In Person’ series. Continue reading

Scots republican praises the Queen


SCOTLAND’S most outspoken republican has leaped to the defence of the Queen and claims that the 49 MSPs who snubbed her visit to Holyrood’s 10th anniversary celebrations had shamed themselves.

Ian Hamilton QC, 82, one of the four students who famously stole the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950, also praised Her Majesty – saying she behaved “impeccably” during the Royal visit despite the empty seats before her.

The outspoken and self-confessed nationalist also believes the Queen’s attendance at Holyrood will only reinforce the nationalist’s cause for independence.

Writing on his blog, Mr Hamilton said: “I have more cause than most to dislike the House of Windsor but when things change, I change.

“Instead of the resolutely hostile Queen of England she once was we may have a friend in Elizabeth, Queen of Scots.

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Alan Cumming damages New York bar by ‘stretching’


By Domenica Goduto

Scottish film star Alan Cumming has trashed a bar in New York after getting drunk on tequila.

In a bizarre accident, the X-Men actor ripped the top off the bar while “stretching” at hipster drinkery The Bowery.

The bizarre incident occurred while Cumming, 44, was drinking tequila at the trendy hang-out.

He explained: “I was hanging on to the edge of the bar with my feet on the bottom and stretching my back out, and the whole top of the bar came away.

“I went for a meeting there the next day with my friend, and I thought, ‘Gosh, did that really happen?'”

But bosses at the nightspot insist that despite the damage, the Scottish screen actor is welcome back any time. Continue reading

Edinburgh International Film Festival programme launched

By Oliver Farrimond

A STAR-STUDDED programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival was officially unveiled yesterday at the Capital’s Filmhouse cinema.

Festival patrons Tilda Swinton, Seamus McGarvey and Sir Sean Connery will also return for the event, which runs from 17-28 June.

No fewer than 23 films will have their world premieres at the renowned festival, which will include a special showcase on the work of celebrated Scottish film-makers Peter MacDougall and John Mackenzie.

Scots audiences can look forward to a number of Scottish feature films being screened, including a new film from “Hallam Foe” director David Mackenzie, titled “Spread”. Continue reading

Ewan McGregor “perfect choice” to play Kenny Richey 089

By Douglas Walker

HOLLYWOOD hunk Ewan McGregor is being lined up to play former Death Row Scot Kenny Richey in a movie about his life.

Producers have already sounded out the troubled ex-con about the project and revealed McGregor is their number one casting choice.

Richey met with film producers last week about the film which is being made for the BBC.

The former US marine is no stranger to the movie business having starred in a short Irvine Welsh film which was shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last month.

This latest project would cover Richey’s time in the United States as a Marine before spending 21 years on Death Row.

The movie would also document his release and struggle to adapt to life since his return to Scotland.

Last night Richey said: “I was down in London last week discussing the movie with a film company.

“It will probably be based on my forthcoming biography as well as the book written about me by my brother Tom.

“Producers mentioned approaching Ewan McGregor to play me.  I think he would be ideal because he is Scottish, a brilliant actor and really charismatic.

“They are coming up to Edinburgh soon to spend time with me and find what I’ve been up to since prison.  The film certainly won’t be for children that’s for sure.”

London-based movie firm The Producers, are behind the project and hope to start filming next year.

One stumbling block for the project may be money however with the company refusing to pay Richey because of his criminal conviction.

He said: “I was paid for my story when I got out home so what they are saying doesn’t make much sense.

“I think they are just trying it on so I’m just waiting to see what they come back to me with.”

The Producers confirmed they were currently in negotiations with Richey over the film but refused to comment any further.

Since his release Richey has never been far away from controversy having slept with a 16-year-old schoolgirl as well as a showbiz groupie.  He has also been banned from a number of nightclubs and casinos.

Richey was freed from Death Row in January after agreeing a plea bargain to quash his conviction for the murder of two-year-old Cynthia.

The toddler died in a fire in her Columbus, Ohio, apartment while drunken revellers partied outside.

Richey always denied setting fire to the apartment building in a revenge attack on a former lover who lived below the dead girl’s flat.

He is currently undergoing treatment for mouth cancer after being diagnosed in April.

Red carpet glamour for film festival opening night 075

By Karrie Gillett

SHOWBIZ A-listers Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller shared the red carpet with Hollywood legend Sir Sean Connery for the world premiere of The Edge of Love.
The movie – which charts the tangled love life of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas – marks the opening of the Edinburgh International Film Festival which Connery is patron of.
And the glamorous duo appeared inseparable as they stopped to chat to journalists and sign autographs for fans who had stood outside the city’s Foutainpark cineworld complex for hours.
The biopic also stars Welsh actor Matthew Rhys who said filming alongside Miller and Knightley had been “very giggly”.
Miller – wearing a black dress by Jasmine di MiloLouis Vuitton shoes and a trademark black vintage hat – admitted that her role in the movie had not been her most challenging because it had been so well written.
She said: “It was really well-directed and the environment was really conducive to creativity
“I have worked on films before where I haven’t been supported as much so no, it was not the most challenging but it was a lot of fun.”
And co-star Keira – kitted out in a cream Chanel trouser suit and black jacket topped off with Moschino shoes – said Miller was “the best looking date I could ask for.”
The 23-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star said finally getting to see a screening of the film which was also penned by her mother was a brilliant celebration.
She said: “It’s fantastic. This was a film that everyone involved in was hugely, hugely passionate about so it’s a celebration that we got it made and it’s here and we’re all so proud of it.”
And as the young actors stopped to sign autographs, Sir Sean Connery made his way into the screening sporting his arm in a sling.
The 77-year-old was greeted by some wolf-whistling from fans and raised a thumbs-up when asked if he was okay.
The festival – now in its 62nd year – will run until June 29 and the opening night was also attended by Nip/Tuck actress Joely Richardson who appeared a natural on the red carpet.